Man found guilty of rape and murder

By Drum Digital
03 August 2016

Mhlanganisi Gcaza has been found guilty of rape and murder.

By Nomzamo Ngcobo

This follows the rape and murder six-year-old Inganathi Nogaga in January. The incident occurred in Lingelihle Township in Cradock, Eastern Cape.

His lifeless body was found in the backyard of a homestead after he disappeared. Not far from the body a blue cooler bag containing a bloodstained plastic bag was found. The blood on the bag matched Gcaza’s DNA. This was the same cooler bag he was seen carrying when he arrived at his home from Cape Town, where he lives, on 9 January 2015.

Dr Jan Anthonie de Beer, who conducted the post-mortem on the little boy’s body, testified that the stab wounds on their own could have caused death. According to the post-mortem results, Inganathi was also stabbed in the back, strangled and penetrated.

Handing his judgement at the Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown, Judge Mandela Makaula said the accused did unlawfully and intentionally commit an act of sexual penetration with Inganathi.

Judge Makaula also said he was convinced, based on evidence that the cooler bag with the plastic bag, is the one Gcaza brought from Cape Town even though he tried to distance himself from it.

But Judge Makaula said he did not believe Inganathi’s body would fit in the cooler bag. He, however, said there might have been an attempt to put the body inside the cooler bag and when it failed, the plastic bag remained inside. He said: “The presence of the plastic bag in the cooler bag cannot only lead to a conclusion that the diseased was carried in the cooler bag.”

Gcaza testified that he dug a hole and threw rubbish in it. But during cross-examination, he said he did not throw rubbish in the hole because he was arrested by the police before he could do so. It is because of his testimony that Judge Makaula said he was not honest.

“I accept that, based on the circumstantial evidence, the State has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt,” Judge Makaula said.

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